Global recovery from pandemic requires prioritizing vaccination drive in Africa, Egypt – ICF told

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  • African Development Bank: Egypt uniquely positioned to become regional vaccine hub
  • H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat: Multi-stakeholder engagement critical for inclusive, green recovery
  • Børge Brende: Egypt offers a bright spot for recovery of developing economies
  • Egypt economy forecast to grow by three percent in 2021
  • World Bank: Global connectivity multilateral cooperation even more urgent
  • Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah: Multilateralism holds key to meeting SDGs

Cairo, Egypt: Egypt is well positioned to become a regional hub for vaccine production which can propel Africa’s recovery, a leading official from the African Development Bank (AfDB) said today at the first edition of the Egypt – International Cooperation Forum (Egypt – ICF), in Cairo today, launched by the country’s Ministry of International Cooperation.

Solomon Quaynor, the AfDB’s Vice President for the Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, said: “I am excited about its [Egypt’s] potential because Africa’s recovery has to be collective and united. A successful vaccination campaign could help realize the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area – a single market with 1.2 billion people and $3.4 trillion in gross domestic product.”

Speaking on the same panel entitled, “Multilateralism and International Cooperation Post-COVID-19”, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call for all of us, emphasizing how it is by working together that we can move forward and progressively for a brighter future.”

“The only way to accelerate sustainable development and the SDGs – a common denominator for all countries today – is through multi-stakeholder engagement and cooperation. By doing so, we can create more inclusive societies, greener and more resilient economies that work for everyone.”

Quaynor added that reinvigorating cross-border collaboration will ensure Africa unlocks its social and economic potential and responds effectively to a variety of challenges, such as climate change, gender equality and extreme poverty.

Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum (WEF), who joined virtually for the panel, said Egypt has provided a “bright spot” for economic prosperity as one of several emerging markets to experience growth last year, according to the IMF.

Brende said: “The world needs more international and multilateral cooperation if we want to advance shared priorities of equality, resilience and sustainability. The challenges ahead of us are too complex and too connected for one government or industry to solve on its own.”

“As extreme poverty grows and investment in emerging markets declines, we need to pivot and make international organizations relevant and resilient to face the challenges of a post-COVID world and keep pace with the UN’s SDGs.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Egypt’s economy to grow by three percent in 2021 – something that has only been possible because of the collaboration between the public and private sectors.

For his part, H.E. Alamine Ousmane Mey, Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development of Cameroon, said: “Multilateralism and international cooperation has been extremely important in helping Africa manage COVID-19.”  

“But we need to deal with connectivity and mobility as well as the delivery of vaccines on a continent-wide level. This is where greater collaboration is vital because it enables us to deal with multifaceted challenges in solidarity with one another. In this paradigm, leveraging the comparative advantage of different stakeholders is a priority to deliver on effective international cooperation in the post-COVID era.”

Keiko Miwa, Regional Director for Human Development at the World Bank, said: “The pandemic highlighted the importance and criticality of multilateralism. No country will be safe until every country is safe. This means a vaccine must be available to everyone.”

“Society’s interconnectedness makes the need for multilateral cooperation even greater. Now more than ever, there is a dire need for multi-stakeholder collaboration with an emphasis on the overarching goals of social and economic stability, shared prosperity and environmental sustainability.”

Honourable Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of Namibia, said: “We strongly believe that multilateralism is the key to addressing global challenges and ensuring that citizens’ needs are met and sustainable development is achieved.

“The African Continental Free Trade Area is a major example of international cooperation between various governments, the private sector and civil society. This partnership has proven itself to be effective, and it has the potential to be a catalyst for Africa’s social and economic growth.”

Held under the patronage of H.E. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the two-day hybrid event convenes the global development community to discuss collective commitment to sustainable development as a catalyst for the post-pandemic economic recovery.

About the Egypt – International Cooperation Forum:

The Egypt — International Cooperation Forum (Egypt — ICF) is a two-day global event that convenes the international community to drive a sustainable recovery through multilateralism.

Organized by Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation, the Forum is being held in Cairo, Egypt, between 8-9 September 2021 in a hybrid format – allowing both physical and virtual attendance.

The Egypt — ICF provides a unique global platform in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, to bring together international policymakers, multilateral and bilateral development partners, private sector stakeholders, civil society and think tanks to collaboratively reboot international cooperation through economic diplomacy in the post-pandemic era.

The Forum aims to foster a collective international commitment to accelerate the transition to a green and inclusive global recovery, catalyze social mobility in Africa and tackle climate change.

The Egypt — ICF is co-organized with leading international development institutions, including: the United Nations, the World Bank Group, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).